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A Friend in the Cellar

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Travel | 1 comment

Monticello

Phillip and I are walking through the passage into the cellar under Monticello, when a woman coming the other direction stops us. Because she wants to take a photo. Of us. For us.

Wait…what?

“It just looks so cool with the light filtering through the fog behind you…it’s okay…I work here,” she reassured us with that non-sequitur.

Still slightly stunned, we hand her a phone, pose for a photo, and then find ourselves in a conversation about our visit to Virginia and her work at Monticello (which does not typically involve walking around taking strangers’ photos).

Momticello window

“Have a good trip!” she calls after us when we finally part ways.

I randomly respond with “Thanks! May the Force be with you!”

She stops in her tracks. “Have you seen it?”

Of course, she means the then-newly-released Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, that had shocked fans (including us) with the death of a hero.

“Yes!” I was still moving through the stages of fictional character grief, and she just opened her arms to hug me.

The three of us stood in the passageway awhile longer, talking about the movie and the plot twist and feelings and nostalgia, and it was this beautiful moment of connection in a really unexpected location.

monticello passage by liz marshall




P.S. I just posted more about what to see at Monticello and will be posting how to tackle tickets and tour schedules later this week.

Last photo by Liz Marshall.

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Fingers Crossed

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Travel | 4 comments

I’d like to think I’m not superstitious, but then something good happens, and I’m afraid I’ll jinx it.

Can I whisper this to you?

We booked tickets to Europe.

Italy mural

There was a killer deal on round-trip flights to Madrid at the end of August. And, while I love Spain, it’s not our final destination this time.

Neither of us have been to Italy, and I have wanted to go since I was a kid, since learning that Venice had streets made of water, since I first saw photos of Pompeii’s ruins frozen in time, since my young fascination with Renaissance art, since seeing Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

We had planned to go for our 10th anniversary, and then our 11th, and, by last year, I had pretty much lost hope.

Michelangelo

But now there’s an international flight with our name on it.

We plan to celebrate our 13th anniversary early, take our own Roman holiday, see a boat parade in Venice, stay in the agriturismo of this couple whose podcast we listen to, wander the ruins of Pompeii, and maybe even visit the Florence that is not in Arizona.

13 has always been my lucky number.

Not that I’m superstitious.




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Garden Library Booth

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Travel | 6 comments

I was back at the Mesa Urban Garden and took a photo for you guys of the little library/phone booth.

Phone booth library

Maybe you wouldn’t call it a phone booth. It’s the later version of a phone booth, the not-fully-enclosed kind I grew up seeing. And it seems like the books have been replaced with gardening resources, which is also good. But it’d be neat if books could be back in there too.

Mesa urban garden

 




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Citrus Season in the Southwest

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 14 comments

Citrus at tucson market

It’s citrus season here in Phoenix! Farmers’ markets and roadside stands are overflowing with oranges, grapefruit, and lemons (so is my Instagram feed).

When we were in Tucson just before Christmas, there were baskets of beautifully bright oranges, tangerines, and kumquats at the Thursday Farmers’ Market at Mercado San Augustin.

Citrus park in Riverside, CA

California Citrus Historic State Park in Riverside, which we’ve enjoyed visiting when we’re in Southern California, currently has extended hours for the season and special events like a harvest tasting on February 26.

The Pasadena Farmers’ Market lists lemons, navel oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos as being in season right now. (When I was there this summer, it was piles of peaches and pecks of peppers.)

Pasadena farmers market

On the theme of citrus…

What’s in season where you are?




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Hang in There! 9 Unique Wind Chime and Mobile Ideas

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Craft | 4 comments

Mobiles and wind chimes can brighten up your garden, patio, or a bare corner of your living room. And you probably have the stuff to make one right now!

Here are some unexpected objects you can use to make your own.

Colorful mobile http://www.emilyneuburger.com/2009/07/color-mobile.html

1. Wooden Discs

Emily Neuburger’s Simple Color Mobile could work inside or outside. I like the simplicity of the rainbow-colored circles, but you could also add a wooden initial or other shape.

(Side note: You know the wood-stuff-for-painting aisle in the craft store? I always have to browse through it, and, even though I don’t usually do wood craft projects, I always kind of want to buy everything in there.)

Jungalow Boho mobile

2. Souvenirs

Justina Blakeney made this Boho Mobile from an old lamp shade frame and small decorative items her in-laws brought back from India. If you have a lot of little knick knacks from trips taking up shelf space, this would be another way to display them. Like an oversized charm bracelet.

Paint Swatch Mobile By Natalme

3. Paint Swatches

Love this minimal Paint Swatch Mobile from Natalme! You can mix up the colors like she did or use a gradient of shades for an ombre or rainbow effect, which would look especially rad spinning around.

Embroidery hoop mobile by natalme

4. Embroidery Hoops

Another Natalme inspiration: turn embroidery hoops into a place to hold photos (or holiday cards or kids’ artwork)!

Ceramic bell

5. Clay and Copper Pipes

Decorative ceramic bells made from Sculpey by A Beautiful Mess. Apparently, these are purely decorative, since they don’t actually ring. I’m wondering whether you could change that with some metal inside the clay. Or what if you hung more than one copper pipe from each bell, making every bell into kind of a mini-wind-chime?

Sea Glass DIY Wind Chimes
6. Sea Glass

Crafts Unleashed has a turorial for displaying your beach-combing finds as sea glass wind chimes!

Key Mobile

7. House Keys

You can also make a wind chime from old keys, like this one from Inner Child Fun.

FYI I found this on a list by The Garden Glove (with about a dozen more DIY ideas).
Bottle Cap mobile

8. Bottle Caps

Trina Lyn (of Trina Is Artsy Fartsy) shared this tutorial of how to make a bottle cap wind chime, as frequently seen – but not always explained – on Pinterest.

Junk Windchime by Trina Lyn

9. Random Junk

Trina also combined a variety of found objects, including a smashed vintage beer can, into The Junk Windchime. It brings together a lot of the materials in the other projects above, like bottle caps, glass, beads, and a key.

What materials would you use for a mobile creation? Chime in!

IMG_8930

For Your Inspiration

A few more shareworthy (and shoppable) mobiles and wind chimes:




Photos via their respective sites.

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